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Are EU migration figures fit for purpose? Lords to investigate


The House of Lords Home Affairs Sub-Committee will continue its short inquiry into Brexit: UK-EU movement of people on Wednesday 21 December. The Committee will hear evidence from the Office for National Statistics.

The Committee are examining possible future arrangements for migration of EU citizens to the UK after the UK has ceased to be a member of the EU, and their implications. This includes looking at the nature of current flows of EU migrants coming to the UK including trends in numbers, whether EU migrants come from ‘old' or ‘new' member states, and what proportion come to work, study, or for other reasons.

In this session, the Committee will explore with the witnesses from the Office for National Statistics trends such as the recent rise in migration from ‘old' member states and in migration of EU citizens seeking a job, the distribution of EU citizens across the UK, and what difference exit checks will make to the poor quality of data available on UK citizens emigrating to other countries in the EU.

At 10:15am the Committee will speak to:

  • Ian Cope, Acting Deputy National Statistician, Population and Public Policy, ONS
  • Paul Vickers, Head of Population Statistics Outputs, ONS

The Committee is likely to ask:

  • Is the International Passenger Survey from which key migration statistics are drawn fit for purpose?
  • What can the statistics tell us about why non-EU migration remains higher than EU migration?
  • What statistics do we have on the number of UK citizens emigrating to the EU in terms of how many are emigrating, which EU countries they go to, and what they do when they are there?
  • What extra tools and resources would needed at the ONS and/or the Home Office if the Government were to introduce a more restrictive immigration regime for EU citizens?

The House of Lords EU Committee and its six Sub-Committees are conducting a coordinated series of short inquiries looking at the key issues that will arise in the forthcoming negotiations on Brexit. Taken as a whole, this programme of work will be the most extensive and thorough parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit.

The evidence session will take place at 10:15am on Wednesday 21 December in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

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